In-person events are back, baby, and Vendelux’s AI-powered event intelligence platform tells event marketers which important people will be at which event.
The company was started by two former Shutterstock executives, Alex Reynolds and Stefan Deeran. They wanted to provide event marketers and CMOs with a way to see which events customers and competitors would attend so they could make better decisions about what to attend or sponsor.
Using artificial intelligence and predictive modeling, Vendelux offers 65 million data points from more than 160,000 global events, trade shows and conferences, Reynolds told TechCrunch. We reported on Vendelux’s approach in 2022, when the company raised $2.4 million. At that time, the company analyzed 30,000 events.
In-person events took a nosedive during the global pandemic, as virtual conference startups emerged, with some, for example Hopin, experiencing rapid growth and also rapid decline as events returned to normal. Around the same time Hopin was jumping, Reynolds and Deeran launched Vendelux.
Despite the virtual nature of events and conferences at the time, Reynolds noted that they were optimistic about the events returning.
“We knew events would come back bigger than ever, and that’s certainly the case today: events are now bigger than 2019,” he said. “Everyone realizes the importance of being together in person and what in-person interaction can really create, whether it’s new business transactions or meeting existing customers. »
As a result, Vendelux has seen “incredible tailwinds for the company and for the event space in general,” Reynolds said. He explained that this was partly because other marketing channels were struggling. For example, performance marketing has been impacted by privacy concerns and the phasing out of cookies.
At the same time, it was difficult to travel and see multiple clients or potential clients in one trip.
“It turns out events are now the best way to see your customers and prospects in person,” Reynolds said. “Marketers are seeing it now, and we’re seeing a lot of money being invested in the event space as a result.”
Since its last funding round, the company has worked to better identify who its customers want to meet and then facilitate that interaction quickly and efficiently. The company also enhanced its matchmaking capabilities and developed a collaborative digital planner for event marketers, which integrates with a company’s customer relationship management tools.
Vendelux in turn doubled the number of its customers and tripled its annual recurring turnover over the past year. It has a free version of its software that is used by over 5,000 event marketers. The company has also expanded its customer base among businesses, which now includes PayPal, MongoDB, Okta and T-Mobile. Additionally, the company is analyzing data from larger conferences and has started working with event organizers.
With customer demand coming from both the marketers’ and organizers’ perspectives, Reynolds and Deeran said it was time to seek additional venture capital. The company today announced a new $14 million Series A investment, led by FirstMark Capital, which included participation from Cervin Ventures and founders of some of its leading event organizers and marketers, including HLTH, ShopTalk, Money20/20, SaaStock, Connectiv Events and FT. Live. Vendelux has now raised $16.4 million in total.
In addition to continuing product development and customer acquisition, Reynolds and Deeran intend to double their team by the end of 2024 and expand globally, including creating a team based in London to serve businesses in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
“Once we help clients identify the right events to go to and people they should meet, we want to continue down the funnel with clients,” Reynolds said. “Just identifying these people is very valuable. Then, with this information, we’ll take the next step by helping clients book meetings with these potential leads, send them email campaigns, or invite them to roundtable discussions. There are integrations we can create with many other tools to help you complete this end-to-end journey and ultimately help marketers track the value of this channel.